The House Judiciary Committee is prepared to use subpoenas to compel the testimony of Karl Rove and other White House officials, Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and subcomittee Chairwoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) warned White House counsel Fred Fielding today.
"We are today writing to express our extreme disappointment in the White House's rebuff of efforts by the Judiciary Committee to obtain voluntary cooperation with our investigation concerning the firing of at least nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and related matters," they wrote. "We write to make one last appeal for such voluntary cooperation." You can read the letter here
If this seems like deja vu, it's because Fielding got a very similar letter
from Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) last week. As Sen. Leahy did in that letter, Rep. Conyers and Rep. Sanchez note that the negotiation process between Congress and the White House stopped as soon as it started. After Democrats requested interviews and documents from the White House, Fielding replied with an offer to have Rove and others interviewed privately with no oath and no transcript. The Dems rejected the offer. That was two months ago. There hasn't been any progress since then.
As Sen. Leahy did in his letter last week, Rep. Conyers notes that even without the White House's cooperation, it's become increasingly apparent that the U.S. attorney firings were driven by the White House. That role might become even clearer when Monica Goodling, the Justice Department's former liaison to the White House, testifies before the House Judiciary Committee this Wednesday.
Conyers and Sanchez conclude:
"If the White House persists in refusing to provide information to the House Judiciary Committee, or even to discuss providing such information, on a voluntary basis, we will have no alternative but to begin to resort to compulsory process in order to carry out our oversight responsibilities."